What are the salient features of the Jan Dhan Yojana?

Jan Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion initiative that liberates the deprived of a vicious cycle. The scheme has an integrated approach to produce comprehensive financial inclusion and offer banking services to all families in the country. The system guarantees access to a variety of financial services, such as availability of fundamental savings bank account, remittances facility, access to loans based on needs, pension, and insurance. As it was announced on 15 August 2014 by the present Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, it is called PMJDY or Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

The major goal of the scheme is to open and maintain bank accounts for the uncovered Indian families. So far, about 21.06 crore households have been benefitted by the scheme. Out of the opened bank accounts, 40% are in urban areas and 60% are in rural areas, among which 51% are female/male account holders.

The Jan Dhan Yojana offers a platform for global access to banking facilities with a minimum of one basic banking account for every family. It includes economic literacy, and access to loan, pension, and insurance facility. The scheme covers both rural, as well as urban areas, and people who open a bank account would get indigenous RuPay Debit Card, with the integral accident insurance. They can open a savings account in any branch of the bank in India or in Business Correspondent outlet, known as Bank Mitra with zero balance. Every savings bank account is on the banks’ Core Banking System. They can avail the USSD facility of Mobile banking on their basic Smart phones, as well. They can also enjoy the contacting facility of the nationwide toll-free number and call center number.

The major features of the scheme include a RuPay debit card with inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 5,000 overdraft facility for accounts that are linked with the Aadhar Card. Additionally, the bank accounts, which are opened between 15 August 2014 and 26 January 2015 will include a Life Insurance cover of Rs. 30,000. One of the most important features of Jan Dhan Yojana is that account holders will be eligible for a maximum overdraft of Rs 5,000 if their accounts remain active for 6 months.

Under the PMJDY scheme, all account holders living in urban and rural areas of India will be educated on financial aspects to make them understand the working mechanism of the scheme. The mission of the scheme is to envisage the Direct Benefit Transfer extension under different Government Schemes through bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Besides the linking of the Kisan Credit Cards with RuPay platform, account holders will get the Micro Insurance coverage, as well. In addition, the second phase of the program also includes unorganized sector Pension schemes, such as Swavalamban, through the Business Correspondents. The scheme has a prearranged monitoring system from Central level to District level.

Above all, the Jan Dhan Yojana not only functions as a vital model of Governance in Mission Mode. It demonstrates what a Government can accomplish, as well, if it is dedicated to the wellbeing of the people.